RIM CMO Frank Boulben confirms there will be at least six BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013

Frank Boulben
By Adam Zeis on 9 Jan 2013 12:48 pm EST

While we've been concentrating on both the full-touch BlackBerry Z10 (L-Series) and the full QWERTY device (N-Series) we forget that it's been said all along that there will be more BlackBerry 10 devices available after the initial launch. RIM CMO Frank Boulben confirmed in an interview with FierceWireless that RIM does intend to release as least six BlackBerry 10 devices over the course of 2013, all falling into various pricing tiers.

There will also be no exclusive carrier partnerships for new devices as there has been in the past. We've heard that there will be both high and low end devices that look to fill the needs of users and various different markets across the globe. There hasn't been much available as to just what the devices will be, but we expect to see them starting to appear shortly after the January 30th launch event and the official release of the BlackBerry Z10 and full QWERTY model.

Source: FierceWireless 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

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RIM CMO Frank Boulben confirms there will be at least six BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013


I've said all along that the next iteration of the PB should be quite different from the one currently on the market. If that happens I'll wait to pick one up later rather than buying one now.

Not I good move Imo,should only have 1 all touch and 1 real keypad that's it!!!!!! Keep it simple and change name from rim to blackberry or bb. Screw those curves if peeps had bold 9900 they probably wouldn't have left to DROID and apple smh

Don't screw anything. You can't tell rim what to do. They're do what they're doing and nobody is getting in their way. Sucks to be anyone who can't appreciate and know there is more to the world than north america.

I cant wait for BB Z10... but my biggest fear is, that RIM mutated to something siimilar like Samsung... Every 3 month a new device with crossover features and so on... You cant be sure to purchase the current "flagship" longer than three month!
so I hope that the Z10 will be the flagship of RIM for around a year... I would puke if RIM would offer a "better" device in summer/fall 2013 and I´would be "forced" to upgrade my Z10...

Im sick of that bullshit, can someone verify if this means 6 different models with bb10 or 3 variations of the 2 phones the z10 and the x10... is just stupid, I dont think is going to be "variations" based on different antenas...

It has been that way in the past, I'm just speculating based on that, but don't take my word as truth... even though I'm probably right.

Well just wait until January 30th!! Then you will have your answers!! Until then.. CHILL THE F OUT DUDE!!!

My guess is that there may be a slider, 2 curve models with same screen sizes and devices that are higher end than the z10 launching later in the year

I'm hoping for a slider. My 9810 has been 100% reliable for nearly 2 years - just got it a new battery. Absolutely the best of both worlds...

According to article there will be devices for different price ranges which excludes idea of simple variations with antennas ;)

This seems crazy. They should have taken a play out of Apple's book and tripled up on one device, launched with one carrier and then expanded from there. Launching with 6 devices in a year is a feat, and one that may have slowed them down quite a bit.

More devices hasn't slowed them down at all, they're waiting for the OS to be completed not the hardware. And BB could never have one device. Would it be all touch? That would probably ruin them. QWERTY would do the same. They need both all touch and qwerty devices, as well as different price points for global markets.

Apple does not do "one device" anymore either.


iPhone 5 (in three size configurations)
iPhone 4S (different price point)
iPhone 4 (different price point)

+ Black and White colors.

I could see how they very quickly get to six throughout the year

1. Touch
3. Curve BlackBerry 10
4. Really high end device
5. New 7" PlayBook
6. 10" PlayBook

Iphone 5 in three size configurations? I hope they will do that one day with the Iphone line but with the Iphone 5?

I understood that as 16G, 32G and 64G for the 3 size configurations of the iPhone 5, but I could be wrong.

Well APPLE considers them different models and their internal accounting shows them that way as well.

I would be hella pissed if they released a BB10 device that out-performed the Z10. Not that the Z10 doesn't suit my needs now, but it would be a tad bit frustrating if they did do that. I just bought a Playbook when they were up for refurb so I will be set when they get the BB10 update. I will more than likely be upgrading to Blackforest or the other code name if they are worth it compared to what the Playbook offers now.

Actually I would be dissapointed if RIM didn't launch a higher end phone than the Z10 by years end.

Technology has to move foward and RIM can't afford to sit on it's hands. There should always be something bigger and better coming.

Definitely agree and the specs for the Aristo (I think that's what it was called) were better then the Z10. I may just have to get that when it comes out as well. The BlackBerry Z10 looks to fill all of my needs even if a more powerful phone comes out.

Exactly, I'm expecting them to release a higher end phone within a year, the Z10 as we know it, has already been finalized for at least a few months, and started being designed who knows how long ago. Sure it will be a powerful enough device to run BB10 when it's released, but they'll need to update it kinda soon to compete.

True True. Maybe I didn't want to be outdated as fast due to money restraints. :p Makes perfect sense, however. I probably should have said,"Within a few months of the Z10." That's what I meant at least.

Unfortunately they will want to get back onto a yearly pre-Xmas cycle for their flagship release which is clearly going to be an all-touch model from now on, so unfortunately that means only 9 months between devices rather than the usual 12, but that is still longer than the gap between ipads 3 and 4. ;-)

The Aristo specs point towards a Phablet type BB10 device and i of course would love to see that happen, Phablets are now a valid form factor, but it would be curious to see how they maintain the single thumb control on a larger 5" screen

I think they would have to skip the focus on one handed use once a device got that big, nothing really to do since it being a heavier device would be unavoidable.

I may be wrong, but from what I have seem, using peek and flow does not require you to be way over on the far side from your thumb, at least to open and look. To select, you may have to two-hand it. To accommodate typing on a larger device they could enable the keyboard to shift to left or right depending on your dexterity. Some people like the phablet, I'm not so sure I do. Mind you if you were to use a bluetooth headset, then it's not like you're holding this big slab up to the side of your head when you're on a phone call.

Holy shiiit! God actually exists! There will be no carrier exclusivity. Please let this be true. I will be the happiest person ever if this in fact is true. If it's not true and Verizon and at&t get exclusive deals on certain phones, I will never ever buy another blackberry phone in my life.

You can't blame RIM for what carriers do to things.

Don't let the unappreciating door hit your butt on the way out of appreciation land.

I would also like to know if there will be a slider available. I want the best of both worlds full touch screen and qwerty keyboard!

Ditto. Want a new BB10 device ASAP, but not if there is a slider coming out shortly thereafter. I would wait a wee bit to get one if its as awesome as the initial BB10 devices.

+1 Also hoping for a slider. Hopefully the BlackBerry Blade. But unfortuntely I realize that the blade will almost certainly never see the light of day.

want to replace my less than a year old 9810 slider with a brand new BB10 slider. Let them get it out! Not that I don't like it, BB10 will be better.

My fear is after picking up a Z10 in February they will release another 'high end' BB10 device 6 months later for back to school season.

Any new higher end model is more likely to be a pre-Xmas thing with back to school more likely to get a new lower end model instead or perhaps a tablet?

To answer the above angrys persons question. They said 6 device to address the different pricing tiers.

There ya go. That means 6 different model devices. Mid ,low and high end. They still need to make affordable phones for people who don't have the cash for a shiny new BlackBerry Zues.

I will now make a suggestion to take it easy on the coffee. Or add a chill pill to go with your coffee.

+10. The bubble world in which some exist doesn't allow for a reality outside paté and grey poupon. First world problems.

No carrier exclusivity equals fantastic news. I'm on AT&T but I woulnd mind switching to Sprint. Unlimited data.

My guess on the six devices either...
Slider CDMA
Slider GSM


Slider 10
Curve 10
Tablet 7
Table 10

I'd bet the latter.

Why would RIM go backwards with the tablet numbers? They will probably come out with a 10 and a 13. 7 is really too small, and RIM has already said they are looking at what the market hasn't already achieved in the past few few years, 7 inch tablets are old school now. :)

I have an 11.6 and a Playbook. Haven't touched my 11.6 since. It is just too big. Sure, you get more screen, but what's the point if you can barely hold it?

7" tablets are old school?? Wtf?? Coming out with 13.7"? What? Oh! You must want a laptop ... I can't even ... Please keep up with tech.

I think it is unlikely to be your latter list, the 6 is to cover the whole of 2013 so they would need a new higher end model of the all-touch for next xmas, the odds are that they would release both all-touch and qwerty curves too so I would tend to think we will only see one tablet and no sliders this year as both are niches now for Rim.

Probably be best if all the Directors of RIM keep their mouths shut, since TH opened his mouth about user fees Rim stock and any excitement about BB10 has gone in the toilet. TH should have waited until a time that every investor wasn't completely focused on his every word.

I hope RIM announces what these new phones are, spec rise, on the 30th so that consumers can decide whether to purchase now or wait till later.

Let's just hope it doesn't turn into the "old-new Ipad3" vs "new-new Ipad3" fiasco.

I am hoping for a X10, Curve, Slider, low end Slider, Z10, and low end all touch. I think I would end up buying a premium Slider, a Z10, and a Curve considering I have two of three upgrades ready.

I think there is zero chance of a low end slider, it simply isn't a design that is suitable for cost cutting and given that qwerty seems to have taken a step back in importance we may not even see any sliders this year at all with a lineup such as the following being more likely

High end all-touch (end of 2013)
high to mid z10 and x10 (to start bb10)
touch and qwerty curves (mid summer)
tablet (back to school or end of 2013)

I think there is a segment for Sliders because they are equal to the Curve lineup if you asked me and not a niche. Also, if the current Torch line is what you can consider low end then there is plenty of room in device size and quality of parts and spec that a premium model can target.

In this regard, I feel a Slider (which I am biased for) is something worth producing.

The idea that the market for a new Torch is equal to that of the Curve is unfortunately overly optimistic, the volume on the Curve market is so much bigger and it is a vital component in boosting the volume of bb10 handsets just like it was with previous bbos models.

In time we will probably see a bb10 slider, but qwerty is a niche and a slider is a subset of that niche so until the bb10 market is larger it would be eating into sales of another model rather than creating its own market.

Mother of god.

Rocking my two berries:
Torch 9810 OS and Playbook OS
Twitter: @mr_theend

Six !!! Jeez why not keep it to the X10, Z10 and a Curve. Why does RIM want to spread itself so thin. Concentrate on the fabulous 3 and leave it at that.

I agree with you 100%. We don't really know what 6 devices mean but regardless it's alot. I want RIM to focus on whats really important here; X10, Z10 and BB10 for Playbook. Been awhile since we've heard anything about anything new for the Playbook. I personally don't think we need a low-end BB10 device since BB7 is still less than a couple years old, hopefully RIM will upgrade to 7.2!? Who knows.

They need a higher end, phone with better specs. I don't think 6 is a lot at all, 4 would have been better. But comparing them to the competition Samsung has over 60 android models as well as many other oems. So rims put them selfs les to apple witch 2 but choose to release 6.

It's amazing how 1st world consumers can forgot how Curve line and 3rd world countries are pretty much the only reason RIM can boast the millions of customer number.
If RIM focuses on high-end phones only, I'll have the grave and undertaker ready for RIM by year end.
As good as BlackBerry 10 can be, iPhone and Android are too powerful to even touch in their own turf. RIM needs to survive, not to die like a hero.

That would run into the problem of devices being considered low spec by next Xmas, this is for the whole of 2013 remember.

High, Mid & Low end phones is the right thing to do. Some of those phones may not even be available in North America, UK or some parts of Asia.

I suspect that the 2 phones released for the Jan 30 launch will be MID range as we have rumors floating that the Aristo is the HiEnd model to which I would say will come towards the end of Q2 or even in Q3.

They will definitely have 2 models in the "Curve" category (possibly full screen and of course the keyboard ver.) which I suspect will hit the emerging markets more than the traditional markets. Not to say there won't be any at all.

I, like so many others, want a slider version. Hopefully this will be a possibility, but more than unlikely due to cost, I think. If it is, I would suspect, they would release this slider phone towards the end of the year as they need to make up for the loss of profits and build the cash reserves. This time period, will allow them to track the success of BB10 and the new Smartphone sales to determine which way to go and if and when they should do the slider. Just a thought!

As for the rest of us, we need to cool our jets! ;-)

RIM is doing exactly what it needs to do, be patient and stay the course! NO frivolous statements, no sketchy terms or any other marketing faux pas!

The media is RIM's worst enemy or best friend! The media's (specific writers and analysts) negative contributors are slowly being thrown to the wolves lately and rightfully so! As we can see that the media is slowly saying really good things about BB10. So good on RIM & Crackberry for listening to us, being objective with facts (good or bad) and not with some half baked statements!

I have never really crapped on the Apple iPhone, but I simply don't like it! I had it sitting on a shelf for the longest time and my old Torch 9800 was damaged by my own fault. I decided to use it (4S) while I waited for BB10 to come. But I can tell you even with iOS6, this is simply and old phone with 2 dimensional thinking. Really nothing has changed since the first iPhone has come to be. Not really saying anything here that you don't already know.

Apple is not coming out with anything innovative in the sense of new products or a trend! Have they reached their peak? Some of the competition is giving them a run for their money sorta speak. As I mentioned above, the emerging markets is where is happening! Some of the media contributors keeping saying RIM lost it's market share in North America. I agree, but where is Apple in the emerging markets??? Here is an article from someone that I believe has some interesting viewpoints : http://m.seekingalpha.com/article/1102591. I told a friend of mine, one which I have serious argumentative & objective discussions, that Apple will lose their reign in the next 24 months! (I am not saying there going out of business!!) This is because of several factors: The very unfortunate loss of Steve Jobs in 2012. RIP. Apple has no real VISION or innovative ideas going forward! He was the genius of Apple!!! Apple has no prominent market share other than North America and the UK and very little in Asia. Nothing else to say here. It is a slick looking phone, that I have to say.
So all this time using the iPhone I have contemplated getting a Galaxy Note II or S2 or S3 as I my patience with the iPhone is really wearing thin! Plus the wait for RIM is just killing me! :(

But in the end, I will wait!! Crackberry's series of: 10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10 (http://crackberry.com/tags/10-weeks-blackberry-10). just re-assured & confirmed that the BB10 is the way to go, for me anyway.

Again, as for the rest of you BB fans, the wait is almost over! Keep the jets cool till then! 20 days for the announcement and another 10 for availability (I think).

Cheers Crackberry fans!!

Well written. I agree that some of the models may not be seen in all markets. I can easily see a cheap version (or set - one touch, one keyboard?) made for the emerging markets where cost of entry is an issue. Those models may not be launched for the developed parts of the world. That would be an excellent strategy.

As for the apple product, I get the "pleasure" of being the family tech guy and dealing with my wife's and son's iphone issues and I simply find them too frustrating to deal with. My wife is not sold on the iphone and is very interested in seeing what the Z10 will bring for me (and maybe her).

20 days.... 20 days...

My predicion:

1. "high end" all touch Z10 (1280 x 768)
2. "high end" QWERTY X10 (720 x 720)
3. new "high end"all touch Aristo (1280 x 720)
4. Playbook 2 (1280 x 720)
5. "low end" QWERTY (720 x 720)
6. "low end" all touch (1280 x 720)

No Slider!
But i can be completely wrong ;)

I think that by the time the new high end model comes out, they will have needed to move that one to 1080p or it wouldn't be high end and maybe the same for the tablet.

I think you are right about no slider this year as qwerty becomes more of a role player than the star, maybe it will show up early'ish 2014 instead of a new x10 since it would seem tougher to up the rez on that form factor.


6 is over kill. You need:
1 low end BB (curve)
1 Super keyboard (bold)
1 Full touch (L-series)
1 Hidrid (troch)
1 Tablet
To make even that in a year is overkill, let alone 6!


At the low end, there would also be room for both qwerty and all-touch, adding one to your total and by the end of the year there would be room for an all-touch upgrade too.

As I mentioned above, the 6 will not appear everywhere. The cost for specific phones are for specific markets and the actual network it will support. Remember 4G/ LTE is not available in all emerging markets just yet.

Not all consumers in the emerging markets can actually afford DATA for the moment either.

So 6 phones is not that much of an overkill if they are using the same form factors I think it will fit perfectly in the market segments 2 Hi - 2 Mid - 2 Low (average 2 units per segment, maybe...)

6 devices isn't alot if you think about it other brands like Samsung make like 20 devices in a year, Technically there are 6 iphone models(color/memory)i think there will be:

High end/ upgraded Z10 or X10
There must be a SLIDER because almost everyone wants that
A curve
A really high end/ expensive model
And the new playbook

I think you are very much over-estimating the demand for a slider when the reality is that qwerty is becoming a niche and a slider is thus a niche of a niche even if some few are vocally in favour of one.

I would not be surprised if we do get a slider eventually, but think it will not come until 2014 by which point they would hope that bb10 was established enough that another form factor was merited.

Six bb10's for NA and emerging markets. That's the truth right there. Most think they're for the north american markets only. Time to think outside of the darn box people and realize the world is a much BIGGER place than your countries. ;)

lol +10 for those with too many First World problems I'll refer them to none other than Bob Marley's Redemption Song: "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds"

You are right Rootbrain, I was just thinking about NA (grin) the rest of world just may have different needs than me. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Looking at these other posts saying that 6 is far too many and I see their point. But I think RIM is doing this so they attract more customers to buy the devices... And the word they used is devices not phones this means they are bringing out a new tablet 'Blackforest' also it has been confirmed that playbook can update their OS to BB10 so really that can be taken as two devices so that remains 4 left so it's likely they'll bring out 2 Z10s and 2 X10s, lower and higher end models.

This is just my scenario.


Six devices eh? As everyone with sense has said, most of that is going to be a variation of what we've seen for global markets. I'm thinking two variants of the X10 and Z10 (LTE and non-LTE), as well as a Curve version of each. The other option is maybe a non-camera version of at least one of the models for the high security types. After all, why release an LTE device in most of the developing world?

It does make sense for BlackBerry to have at least six devices through 2013 serving the world market. Just look what sells in Africa, S. America and the Far east , they would need to put out at least one low-end QWERTY device to capture new BB users or those upgrading from BB6 or BB7.
I won't be surprised after seeing the functionality of BB10, they might even put out a BB10 device with a dimension of Galaxy Note after having seen the unexpected success of that device. A higher end model of Z10 had already been speculated and outed.

Guys come down. Not only it makes sense to offer 6 devices but RIM will be forced to offer if it wants to stay # 3 or 4. RIM learnt from it's own experience and Samsung's success. It is the low end phones that kept RIM in the business for last few months, subscriber base and cash flow over 2billion. Samsung offers 200 diffrent models around the world.
RIM will offer 7 os devices for the rest of 2013 in the developing market and then low end BB10 end devices to replace bb7 ones. At the same time to keep up with competion in NA and Europe it will offer very high end devices, almost equlent to laptop power.

I hope RIM is paying attention to the current trends, phones are getting bigger! Please make a phone that is at least 5", and have a1080p screen!

I see the 6 models as :

Z10 Black
Z10 White

X10 Black
X10 White

Playbook 7" Black wifi only
Playbook 7" Black 4G

A Slider is a nice option with BB7, but not completely necessary.

With BB10, I see a slider as necessary in the line up. With the amazing all touch UI, a larger screen is a must. For those of us who love our physical keyboards, the option of all touch plus a keyboard will be too much to resist.

I am personally holding out for a slider and will keep my Torch nearby until RIM releases the BB10 version.

My view exactly, with the caveat that I will get an S4 when available if RIM doesn't have a slider available by that time.

Large screen and physical keyboards are a must, if I can't have that in a RIM phone, I might as well go Android for the better application support. I played with a friends S3 today and it's an awesome phone - the lack of a physical keyboard is the big downside.

RIM better make a slider ...

A friend of mine has an older slider and she has already told me she won't give it up for anything so unless there's a new BB10 slider she's staying with what she has (and loving it) from the looks of some of the comments here, there seems to be a few people who really like the slider version.

"Heins has said that RIM will launch with a "one-two punch" of BB10 devices: one that is an all-touch experience and one that has RIM's classic Qwerty keyboard. Within those two types, RIM will offer three different devices, a high-end device, a mid-tier device and a low-end device, for six total"
there you go guys.

and like every other tech company they will launch with the mid first, then the low or the high. And based off of build quality of the new devices they look like a mid line, compared to the brushed metal and leather of the bolds

just like microsoft surface pro that was just announced at ces


It's great that I'm noticing a lot of new folk take the time to add their comments. It would be a good thing for some of these folks to return and see if there is any feedback to said comments.
A second opinion to an thought is not necessarily a bad thing. It takes a man (or woman) to admit possible wrongness.

RIM needs more than the two phones they have announced so far.

I have a Torch 9810 that I am quite happy with (occasional slow downs and the small screen not withstanding), and if I need to get a phone without a keyboard (that's what a BB phone is about for me, a good real keyboard, not the useless virtual keyboards I get to experience on my friends iPhones and Androids), it will not be made by RIM. I'll get an S4 when it comes out if I have to get a phone without a keyboard - Androids have many more applications available that I want.

I want a slider phone with a LARGE screen. If they make a phone that looks like the Blade concept (created by a 3rd party) I will happily pay top dollar for that phone. It blows anything made by anyone else out of the water when it comes to design, and will be a flagship phone that people will want to own.

The X10 already looks outdated (it looks like a modern version of a 2002 phone, not sexy) and the screen is too small,

The Z10 doesn't have a keyboard - I can get an i5 or S3/4 if I want no keyboard.

If Blackberry wants to attract new customers and developers, they need to offer something SEXY. The BB10 OS looks very good, but who wants to show that off on a phone that looks unsexy (X10) or like any other phone out there (Z10). The Blade concept is super sexy - no one else has anything like this, and I would pay for a great OS, great physical keyboard, big screen and super sexy design.

RIM has until the Samsung S4 comes out to keep me as a customer, the Z10 and Z10 are not on my list, BB10 is if they have the right hardware.

Well, if the Z10 isn't the high-end device then I guess I'll wait for the Aristo. Hope they go with a Matte Black for that one...

No carrier exclusivity is awesome.
Now I just really really hope that phone manufacturers will one day put their foot down with this "locked to carrier" BS. I can't imagine that in the present day it would be much of a fight what with more carriers switching to the total no-contract, purchase phone outright plans.

Oooooooh, and if RIM were releasing dual GSM / CDMA capable phones, now that would be nice! I'm still depressed that Virgin went with CDMA in the US. They are GSM everywhere else. WTF?